LIBERTY, Mo. - Some local hair salons have started offering new services, which may be another sign that the economy is healing.
It's a trend in salons called the "blow-dry bar." Popular on the coasts, these salons offer what's called a blowout -- just a basic hair washing and blow dry, along with a selection of alcoholic beverages.
Sal Marciano, owner of Salon Marciano in Liberty, has taken that concept and made it part of his salon. After first seeing a blow dry bar in Las Vegas a couple of years ago, he didn't think the idea would work in Kansas City as a stand-alone place. He did, however, think it would succeed as part of the offerings in his new store.
Obviously they aren't the first ones to offer an adult beverage, but the blow-dry bar idea is new to many of his clients.
"They're like, 'What's a blow-dry bar?' They're thinking it's just alcohol, or it's a bar," Marciano said.
A more traditional blow-dry bar is set to open next week in Overland Park. Soffia Via, at 135th and Metcalf, will offer blowouts and the usual salon assortment.
Owner Brent Peterson says his inspiration came from a client who was recovering from rotator cuff surgery and couldn't lift her arms. He said one of the goals in opening his salon is to help people in physical therapy feel better by helping them look better.
"It helps with confidence, when people aren't feeling so great about their rehab or their surgery they've just had," Peterson said.
For therapy or just some "me" time, these blow-dry bars may be a sign that the economy is improving. During the recession, economists observed that this type of splurge was one of the first expenses people eliminated, and they said the return of this kind of spending would signal confidence in the recovery.
"It's for people who want to relax," Marciano said. "People who have the extra money to spend on themselves."
Either way, whether you go in for your hair or to get a drink, these salons are growing their businesses by giving you a way to spoil yourself.
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